Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm shaving my head!!

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

You heard it right!  My dear friend, Corinne, and I are teaming with St. Baldricks and shaving our heads in an effort to raise as much money as possible for childhood cancer research by October 9th.

Did you know that every 3 1/2 minutes a child in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer?

While I haven't personally known any children with cancer, my family has definitely been affected by it.  My father-in-law had multiple meylomal cancer.  He died a few months after my husband graduated from High School.  I never had the chance to meet him.  One of my uncle's also lost his life to cancer.  I can think of at least a handful of others who have also struggled with cancer.  Some of them have been able to beat it, and some of them haven't.  I will be shaving my head in their honor.

Corinne and I talk regularly about wanting to be good people and wanting to help others.  As more people we love are being diagnosed with cancer, we have wondered what we can do make an impact.  We have chosen to do our part by teaming with an amazing organization called St. Baldricks.  In short, St. Baldricks raises money to fund essential cancer research.  By donating to St. Baldricks, your money is directly used to fund cancer research. In return, well, we're going bald...

In two weeks, after raising as much funds as we can, we will collectively hold our breath as we shave each other's heads.  Yikes!  The thought is a little terrifying and very overwhelming.  But we are confident that our emotions are nothing compared to the fear and anxiety young cancer patients feel when they lose their hair.  The difference- those children do not have a choice.

Now that's where you come in.  We each set a personal goal to raise $3,000 by October 9th. I still have a LONG way to go.  Will you help us reach and even surpass this goal?  Please, please consider donating to St. Baldricks.  Whether you can contribute $20 or $200 or $2000, ANY size donation is appreciated! 

To visit my web page and to make a tax deductible donation, click HERE.

We will also be donating all of the hair that is at least 8 inches long to Beautiful Lengths. It will then be used to a create free wigs for cancer patients.  Beautiful Lengths is an organization that partners with the American Cancer Society.

Please spread the word by telling your friends, families, and coworkers about this goal and how they can help.  Feel free to pass along this letter to anyone who might be interested.  Our shave date of October 9th is coming quickly!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Messy Monday -- link up troubles

I have no Messy Monday activity today.  When I went to create the link party the website was down.  I went to create a new account with another site they have suspended their registrations for new people.  So sorry!!  If you still want to link up, just leave me a comment with the link to the post you want us all to see.

I've been very busy behind the scenes coming up with some new things for you all.  I have a couple of big announcements coming very soon.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Foodie Friday -- Pumpkin Oatmeal

Last night my kids asked if they could choose what we had for dinner.  I hesitatingly (is that a word?) said yes.  I braced myself for their choice and do you know what it was?  Pumpkin Oatmeal.  I'm totally serious.  And yeah...I totally scored in the I've-got-really-awesome-kids department.

So, about 20 minutes later my home smelled like I was walking through Heaven on a crisp Fall evening and my kids happily inhaled ate their oatmeal before going to bed.

Pumpkin Oatmeal (I got this idea from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook, but changed it up a lot)
  • 4 cups oatmeal
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • .5 tsp cloves
  1. Mix the water, sugar, and vanilla together and bring to a boil.
  2. Add pumpkin, oats, and spices.
  3. Return to boil and cook until thickened to your liking 
  4. Serve with milk and butter.  YUM!

I'm linking to these sites.  Go check them out!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday -- Depression

I've been debating writing this post for several days.  I know it can be a touchy subject and I don't want to be insensitive to those of you reading this who are struggling with depression in any of it's forms.  Please know that I've given this a LOT of thought and feel like it is worth talking about.  Please also know that my intentions are pure and I mean no ill-will.

We have all had times in our lives when we've struggled with being depressed about something.  It can be caused by any number of reasons which may include a hormonal and/or chemical imbalance, post-partum depression, illness, trauma induced depression, etc.  It can be mild or extremely severe and it definitely affects a lot of people.

One of the medications the Dr. is trying me on for my fibromyalgia is an anti-depressant.  I have never been on one before and had a very hard time accepting that she thought I needed it.  She prescribed it to me because it has been known to help regulate sleep cycles in people with fibromyalgia.  After doing a ton of research I finally decided to give it a try.  And you know what?  It really has helped with regulating my sleep cycles (which have been severely messed up for years).

It has also helped with my mood.  I never thought I had "depression".  I've known for a long time that I'm struggling with being able to keep everything together.  I've known that I am sad a lot and would much rather stay at home than go be with people...and there's more too.  But in my mind, that wasn't depression.  That was just being overwhelmed.  It wasn't until I started taking an anti-depressant and noticed a big difference in how I feel emotionally that I realized/accepted that I really have been struggling with depression..  I never thought I would say this, but I am really glad I'm on least for now.

I'm not saying everyone should run out and ask their Dr.s for depression drugs, all I'm saying is that there is no reason to be embarrassed or self-conscious about it.  If anything, be proud of yourself for taking your well-being into your own hands and being pro-active in making your life better!

For those of you who have friends or family struggling with Depression, all I can say is be kind.  Love them and support them the best you know how.  Don't judge them or treat them like it's their fault.  Just love them and know that they are doing the best they can!

"Depression isn't a sign of weakness, it is a sign of being strong for a little too long."  I don't know who said it, but I heard it this week from my sister-in-law and really liked it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whatever Wednesday -- Becoming a "Room Mom"

I somehow got talked into being the "Room Liaison" for Daisy's class.  That's the Fancy way to say Room Mom.  She is super excited.  I'm trying to be.  :)

I talked to the Teacher last Friday and asked what she needed long term and if there was anthing I could do short term until I can get everything organized with the other parents.  She said she had some lamination to cut out.  I said, "Oh problem."  Then she showed me the lamination she needed cut.  I almost wet myself.  HOLY SMOKES!

This is what I started with.

This is after an hour and a half with my handy-dandy paper cutter (thank you Costco).

This is what I still have left.  This will take me at least a few hours because each strip has 4-6 little squares and there are over 75.  Yeah me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Transform Tuesday -- Table Runner Tutorial

I was looking through some of my older posts today and realized that I never posted the tutorial I made for my table runner.  Well today is your lucky day, becauser here it is!

Before:  We bought this table at a yard sale when we first got married.  We've had it for almost 10 years and it is still going strong.  The chairs have sadly not made it.  Someday I will make beautiful slip covers for these awesome Costco chairs.  :)


If you want the tutorial, keep reading!

I decided I wanted to make a table runner with this fabric.  It was on sale at JoAnn's, so I bought what was left.  If you want to see what else I did with it, click here.

  • 2.5 yards of a pretty fabric of your choice (you will have enough left over to make some pillows or maybe a matching valance)

  • 2.5 yards of a backing material.  I usually use a white sheet.

  • scissors

  • sewing machine

  • straight pins

  • iron and ironing board

1.  First, you have to measure your table and figure out what kind of table runner you want.  My table is 36 in. by 66 in.  So I decided I wanted my runner to be 16 in. by 76 in.  Making sure to leave room for a seam allowance, I cut my fabric to 17in. by 77 in.
2.  If there is a pattern to your fabric, you may need to cut it down the middle instead of just starting at one edge.  I wanted the main swirly patter to go down the center, so I cut my fabric with that in mind.  You will also need a backing material.  I use sheets for these types of projects.  They are big and cheap and work great.  Cut your backing material the same size.

 3.  You also need to decide if you want a straight end or a pointed end.  I decided on a straight end because our table has seen better days and I wanted to cover it up.
4.  Next you will need to serge (or zig-zag) the edges of both pieces of fabric and pin them together.  Remember to pin them with right sides facing each other.
5.  After you have it pinned, sew it together.  Make sure to leave an opening so you can flip it right side out.
6.  Next you will want to clip your corners and iron the seam open.  You can see that once you clip the corners the bulk is out of the way and it will flip right side out with no problems.
7.  Flip it and iron it again.  Pin right next to the edge to hold it down and then topstich right next to the edge.  This will sew up the hole that you left to flip it through.
And there you have it!  A beautiful table runner that was a cinch to make! 

I'm linking to these sites.  Go check them out!

What have you transformed?  Link it up!

Here are the rules:

1.  Use the link to your actual blog post, not your general blog address.
2.  Grab a button and post it on your blog somewhere.

3.  Check out what everyone has done and leave them some comment love!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Messy Monday -- Paper Lanterns

This is a super easy craft that kids will LOVE!

Paper Lanterns
  • colored paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick or tape
  1. Off of the short side of your paper cut a strip about 1 in. wide.
  2. Fold your paper in half.
  3. Starting at the fold, cut strips 1/2 in. to 1 in. wide leaving 1/2 in. to 1 in. at the edge.
  4. Open your paper and glue the last strip on one side.
  5. Take the edges and place one on top of the other.  This will turn it into a ring and glue it together.
  6. Glue the stip you originally cut off to the top, making a hanger
  7. Step back and enjoy your handywork.

You can also use colorful scrapbook paper or pages from a magazine.  If you decide to use magazine, it works best to glue it to a sheet of regular paper and let it dry completely before doing the other steps.
What have you done for Messy Monday?  Link it up!

1.  Use the link to your actual blog post, not your blog address.
2.  Grab a Messy Monday button and put it in your blog post or somewhere on your blog.




3.  Go check out what everyone else is up to and leave them some comment love!

I'm linking to these sites.  Go check them out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whatever Wednesday -- Just Love Them

Some days it is sooooo easy to love my kids.  You know the days...when everyone is happy and kind and loving so there are no temper tantrums or fighting.  I don't see those days as often as I would like, but when when I do, it is like a little slice of Heaven just for me and I just love them.

Some days it is a bit harder.  :)  You know those days too...when everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and they are whining and complaining and fighting with each other non-stop.  I see these days a little more than I would like, but when I do, I remind myself to be patient and I just love them.

And then one day I find these.  First I panic because it looks like paint...but it isn't.  So I start looking for more clues to what it could be.  (I had a cold at the time, so I couldn't smell a thing)

Then I find these.  At this point I have two guesses...diaper rash cream or mashed potatoes.  

Finally I find the culprit...FROSTING!  (bad pic...sorry)

I really wanted to be mad, but I wasn't. Not even a little. The whole thing made me smile and I realized that no matter what, I just love them!

I'm linking to these sites.  Go check them out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Transform Tuesday -- Kid's Toys Reorg.

I did this post about a year ago, but I'm reposting it because I need to go through our toys again and I'm hoping this will give me the motivation to do it.  :)

If you have kids, then you have toys. If you are anything like us, you have more toys than your kids could possibly play with in a day.  When we moved here 2ish years ago, we were one of the younger families at church.  We moved from a town home into a single family home and all of our stuff could fill about 1/3 of our house.  Several of the families at church took pity on us :) and gave us tons of clothes, toys, furniture, dishes, etc.  Before long our house actually had stuff in each of the rooms.  We also had more toys than we knew what to do with!

My husband and I both grew up in large families...8 children in his and 7 children in mine.  Both families were middle class, but fell closer to "lower income" than "upper income".  We were given hand-me-downs all the time.  I remember it being like Christmas whenever someone gave us something they didn't need anymore.  I also remember hating to throw perfectly good stuff away.

It has taken a good bit of effort to be okay with getting rid of things we don't need or use.  I know that sounds silly, but I'm sure some of you out there know what I mean.  So, what does this have to do with organizing your toy room?  Well, I had to sit down and go through everything.  I had several tubs and some bins to sort things into as well as some trash bags and boxes.  First I pulled out everything that was ratty and/or broken and put it in the trash.  Then I went through and pulled out all of the toys that I didn't really think we needed and they either went in the trash or in a box for Goodwill.  At this point there were still a LOT of toys left so I went through all of them again and only pulled out the things that my kids have played with more than once in the last month.  Everything else, no matter what it was went into a box for Goodwill.

As I went through them the final time, I sorted them into tubs and bins and labeled them all.  I think I cut our toys in half, but I know that everything in there are things that are in good shape and that my kids like to play with.  Now it will be much easier to clean up each time because the containers are labeled and because there aren't as many toys to clean up.  It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

**One word of caution:  This job is much easier to do when your kids are not home or are in bed.  If they are around, they will want to "help" you by pulling out toys and moving them into different containers.  Also, don't load up what is going to the garbage or Goodwill with them right there.  It will most likely cause crying and temper tantrums.**

By the way, this picture is just to show you how many toys there are left and how they are organized into tubs.  We don't keep them stacked up like this in the play room.

What have you transformed?  Link it up!

Here are the rules:

1.  Use the link to your actual blog post, not your general blog address.
2.  Grab a button and post it on your blog somewhere.

3.  Check out what everyone has done and leave them some comment love!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Messy Monday -- Popcorn Popping!

My kiddos think the BEST snack is bonus that it is pretty healthy, low in calories and fat.  We have a hot air popper (remember those?) that we use most of the time and my kids like to watch the popcorn "jump" out of the popper and into the bowl.  Sometimes, for a special treat, we have microwave popcorn.

You can still buy hot air poppers, but ours was given to us from some friends who didn't use theirs anymore.  It is probably 15 year old and still works like a charm.

When we use the hot air popper, we put all kinds of stuff in the popcorn.  Here's a quick list...just use your imagination!
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cheese powder (like from a box of mac and cheese)
  • Cinnamon Sugar
What have you done for Messy Monday?  Link it up!

1.  Use the link to your actual blog post, not your blog address.
2.  Grab a Messy Monday button and put it in your blog post or somewhere on your blog.




3.  Go check out what everyone else is up to and leave them some comment love!

I'm linking to these sites.  Go check them out!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Transform Tuesday -- First day of school

Today is the first day of school and so I am taking the day off.  Here is a picture of Daisy and J-Man (that's what he wants his blog name to be) on their first day of school.  Daisy is in 2nd grade and J-Man is in Kindergarten.  Man, I am one lucky mom.

I would still love to see what you have transformed, so please link it up!

Here are the rules:

1.  Use the link to your actual blog post, not your general blog address.
2.  Grab a button and post it on your blog somewhere.


3.  Check out what everyone has done and leave them some comment love!